February 28, 2017

Family Feedsacks Quilt

This little quilt showcases a collection of feedsack fabrics, some purchased and some family heirloom fabrics.  These make such a cheerful quilt!

The printed feedsack idea blossomed during the Depression, and lasted through the fabric shortages during World War II and beyond.  Frugal living doesn't go out of style!  The Quilt History website has an overview of feedsack history.  Another article has loads of resources and some great vintage photos.  This article has some entertaining vintage ads from companies proud of selling their wares in such useful bags. 

These fabrics are guaranteed to bring a smile to even the grumpiest of days!

(See lots more feedsack fabrics in the following post!)

February 18, 2017

Crazy Quilt Embroideries

In 2009, the International Quilt Study Center & Museum hosted an exhibit called A Fairyland of Fabrics: The Victorian Crazy Quilt.  I just visited the Museum site and read through the great accompanying materials.  There is historical info plus photos of several of the beautiful crazies that were in the exhibit.

What caught my eye was a photo detail of one of the exhibit quilts:

International Quilt Study Center & Museum

I recognized the same two dancing children from a crazy quilt, dated 1883, that I repaired a while ago.  Here they are on that quilt:

Now isn't that fun!

One of the many embroidery traditions associated with crazy quilts are renditions of artwork by the popular author Kate Greenaway.  And here we see two different quilters who chose the same illustration and added their own detailing.

My post about the quilt I repaired shows several other Greenaway designs amongst other crazy quilt staples such as flowers, animals, and fans.  And, we get a more personal glimpse into this particular lady as she shows us several pieces from her favorite china set!

February 8, 2017

Announcing! Quilt Repair Book - 2nd Edition!

Well, if it wasn't exciting enough to be able to say that I wrote and self-published a book, I now get to announce that the first printing has sold out, and I now have made a second edition - hot off the presses! 

This new edition has minor changes from the first - some additional resources, a couple of sections rewritten and expanded, a couple of additional illustrations, and (dare I say it) some typos corrected.  Plus, the cover has been printed with a different technique, and is now much more vibrant!

You can see sample pages and read comments and reviews on my website.  And in an earlier blog post, you can see the great repairs done by a quilter following the instructions in my book.

Kudos go once again to my book designer, my friend Julie at Rivera Design & Communications.  Honestly, I had no idea what a book designer can do!  It's one of those jobs that is invisible when it is well done.  I gave her what looked like a term paper and a file of drawings, and she turned them into a really, truly book.  From general page layout decisions to little details like bullet point shape - all sorts of things I never would have thought of or known how to do.  If you know anyone who's making a book and wants help, Julie can be reached at:  riveradesign@mindspring.com.

Finally, a bit about the process of making a book.  I still am astonished to think of myself as a published author.  As with most things in my life, I kind of slid sideways into the whole concept.  I think if I had tried to be bold and outright decide to write a book, it never would've happened!

My main goal was to write up the techniques I've discovered and used in 30+ years of quilt repair.  I always think it's a shame when someone devotes their energy and soul to making something happen in the world and then dies with no record of what they've created, no matter how large or small their focus or topic.  Surely, repairing antique quilts is fairly minor in the grand scheme of things.  But now that I think of it, the main reason I repair quilts is to honor and maintain the legacies of the quiltmakers, whether known or anonymous.  So it's all of a piece, really.

Just basically, I wrote from a rough outline, and then edited and edited and edited.  For the illustrations, I made little sample pieces to stitch and had a friend photograph my hands sewing.  Then I loaded the photos into Illustrator, and traced the edges of the shapes in the photos and added shading.  I also took all the color photos.  That's what Julie received and then she worked her magic.  We made many decisions on cover design and chapter headings and all that.  And we proofed and proofed.  Finally, it went to the printer that she works with and became an actual book.

It's lots of time and oh so many decisions, but in the end it feels really special!  This is said by someone who still gets a kick out of having her own business cards....